Big gains at Ferrovial

By Helen Wright24 February 2011

Spanish contractor Ferrovial reversed 2009's net € 74 million loss to report net profit of € 2,2 billion (US$ 3 billion) last year - a rebound boosted by asset sales and contract wins.

Strong growth in the company's international construction business offset lacklustre performance in its domestic market. International construction revenues grew +18% on a pro forma basis to € 2,4 billion (US$ 3,3 billion), but the division's overall sales dropped -1,3% in like-for-like terms, reflecting a decline in Spanish business.

The company said its construction order backlog increased by +16% year-on-year to € 10,2 billion (US$ 14 billion), while group backlog reached an all-time high of € 22,2 billion (US$ 30,6 billion) at the end of 2010.

The international construction backlog increased by +43% to € 6,6 billion (US$ 9 billion), accounting for 65% of the division total. New contract wins included the 52-year concession to construct and operate the LBJ highway in Dallas, Texas, and a € 900 million (US$ 1,2 billion) contract to construct the new terminal 2 at London's Heathrow airport.

Meanwhile, the company's asset selling strategy also fuelled the positive 2010 result.

Some of the largest assets that the company sold last year included shedding 10% of its ownership of the 407 ETR motorway in Canada for CAN$ 894 million (€ 661 million, US$ 909 million) together with a 60% stake in concessionaire company Cintra Chile for € 229 million (US$ 315 million). Ferrovial also sold London Underground concession holder Tube Lines last year for £ 206 million (€ 242 million, US$ 333 million).

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